Athletes and Concussions

In recent years, numerous studies have demonstrated the potentially devastating consequences of concussions for athletes in sports ranging from soccer to cheer- leading. Concussions can cause severe headaches, memory loss, dementia, and depression, and they can be a major factor in suicides. dangers multiply when players are extremely young (their brains are still developing), when they are hit with great force (as in football or bull riding), when they suffer multiple concussions over time, and when they are quickly returned to play after a concussion or hard hit to the head. For these reasons, the American Academy of Neurology has officially declared that doctors who care for athletes are ethically required “to safeguard the current and future physical and mental health of [those] patients”. This means that doctors must put the interests of players above those of teams, schools, and any other organization or individual for whom they work.

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